Freeipods Pt 8: Followup article

In continuing with yesterday: Wired News has an additional story. Interestingly:

“We are suspending all marketing via email to our customers, and wanted to make sure you knew this was an important and sensitive issue for us,” Martin wrote in an e-mail. “Sending promotions to users is a fairly standard practice for many industries, as an additional source of revenue, but we definitely want to continue to spread a positive and trustworthy image of our company down the road.”


I got 2 more today since I posted last night from this source. Lets see what happens? Will more spammers gain access to the address? Will it go away? Or just maintain it’s current flow rate?

I can also confirm the following:

Earlier this month, Jim Youll, a 39-year-old CTO from Cambridge, Massachusetts, signed up with a virgin e-mail address and within hours started receiving spam.

“This is not an encouraging trend,” he said, “and these are not targeted ads. They are garden-variety junk spams.”


I’ve had the same experience as I mentioned yesterday. It’s random spam.

I’ve got to admit, investigative journalism is addictive 😀 .

This is part of a multi-part story: First Post | Next


Freeipods Pt 7: The wait continues

Found this article today about A few things to note:

“The wait is 100 percent due to Apple’s manufacturing,” said Gratis co-founder Peter Martin. “Apple is on back order. The delay is three weeks plus. They sit in the queue and when it gets to the vendor, it goes out the door.”

[Source: The Mac Observer]

Well, I’ve been going since 9/15 as “sent to vendor”. So lets see how long it takes. So far it’s been a week.

…As a result, Gratis is fast becoming the complaint of choice. Wired News reported complaints against Gratis are piling up at the Washington, DC branch of the Better Business Bureau

[Source: The Mac Observer | Link added by me]
I checked out what the BBB says about them so far, and it says:

BBB Customer Experience Record
The company has resolved any customer complaints presented to it by the Bureau. The company responded to complaints with an explanation of its advertising and reference to its terms of service, conditions affecting fulfillment of orders and rewards, and other information available on its web site.

[Source: BBB Washington DC]

Well, I emailed Gratis the other day via their support option on the freeipods site, and here’s what I found out:

When asked if the iPods really are on months backorder, as rumored around the net, I was told:

Yes, the mini’s are backordered (not necessarily for months). The HP’s are shipping out the fastest.

[Source: correspondence with Gratis Internet]
When I asked specifically about the 20 GB Apple iPod, I was told:

The HP’s are not on backorder. The apple’s are in high demand. I can not give you an estimate arrival time for them. Sorry

[Source: correspondence with Gratis Internet]

Which is interesting because while some people report receiving hp iPods (hPods) rather quick, others still are waiting for them. A popular place for people venting has been forum.

Another interesting note is that their supplier is eCost, which has been rather consistent, besides a small period the other day, with keeping the Apple iPod in stock. It appears the same as the hp iPod.

Moving on…

Customers have also reported an increased amount of Spam e-mail since giving their e-mail address to Gratis Internet. Mr. Martin and his partner Rob Jewell denied giving customer e-mail information to third-party companies, but admitted customers do receive a small number of messages from select parties.

[Source: The Mac Observer]

I’ve been keeping a close eye on this one: I’ve had 11 spams from them from 9/20 – today. I know they are from freeipods origin, since it’s an email alias I created on my mail system for the purpose. At least 3 were sent via a DNSBL (DNS blacklisted) mail server: a known source of spam. Most of a suspicious nature (start regrowing hair, “make today payday”, “become 25,000 richer”). Though they are right. It’s a ‘small number’. Most originate from the same sender. And it did say in the Terms Of Service they could do so. So they didn’t deceive.

So now the question is when will Gratis start shipping. Will they select a new vendor? CDW? Apple Store?

Any event, we will see.

As always, I will keep everyone posted with progress as I check this out. As you can see, I’m very willing to give all the info I can. I’ll be posting more information as soon as it becomes available. Keep an eye out.

Oh yea, if you want to try for a freeFLATSCREEN, I’m looking into that as well.

This is part of a multi-part story: First Post | Next


We need to start running

We need to take this, and get working. ASAP. Lets take a quick look at this:

Most companies are still using Windows 2000. The cost of upgrading hundreds, or thousands of workstations is astronomical. Not to mention testing (and potentially upgrading) other internal software to be compatible with it, and possible hardware swaps. Windows 2000 proved pretty stable for companies (that never used a Mac), so they stayed. Why pay for XP, and go through the effort, when there’s no advantage?

Most XP features are already done through third party software, such as Timbuktu. There’s no advantages in XP for them.

So now that there’s no new security updates for Windows 2000, what should a company do?

I think now is the time to make it clear to companies. We need to make this a big priority. IMHO the following would be a good idea:

  • Section on dedicated to corporate use.
  • Create a .msi of 1.0 for easy deployment (even if it’s manually created for now until such a feature can be automated).
  • Literature. We need PDF’s, and lots of stuff to persuade. Something an IT professional can print out and send around the office with ease. Something a CIO can read on the train while going home from work. Professional white-papers.
  • Case Studies

This effort can double for the education market.

Remember: Many credit Netscape’s success to it being adopted in the office. Then when the office switched to IE, people decided to do the same at home (“the IT guys know what’s best about computers”).

If we want the market, we need to meet the market’s needs. We have a kickass product now. The next step is to show them why our product kicks ass, and how it meets all needs.


Terrorists Spamming

This spam just came in. Quite amazing. I’m not sure if it’s a legitimate idiot, or just someone who thinks the are funny. This future start could potentially run away with a Darwin Award in the near future. So keep an eye out for this moron.

Welcome to our web site [Removed]

Please use [Removed] in case of our domain outage.

You’re invited to shop for large selection of bombs and different
kinds of rockets such as surface-to-air,
surface-to-surface and weaponry available at reduced price. With the
following types of rockets you will be
able to commit terrorist attacks, destroy buildings, electric power
stations, bridges, factories and anything
else that comes your mind. Most items are in stock and available for
next day freight delivery in the USA.
Worldwide delivery is available at additional cost. Prices are

Please feel free to inquire by ICQ # [Removed] or contacting us


Today special:

******* AIR BOMBS *******
OFAB-500U HE fragmentation air bomb
Fuel-air explosive air bombs -Not in stock
BETAB-500U concrete-piercing air bomb
ZB-500RT incendiary tank
500-KG SIZE RBK-500U unified cluster bomb
RBK-500U OAB-2.5PT loaded with fragmentation submunitions
RBK-500U BETAB-M loaded with concrete-piercing submunitions-Not in
RBK-500U OFAB-50UD loaded with HE fragmentation submunitions

Main-purpose unguided aircraft rockets
S-8 unguided aircraft rockets
S-8BM-Not in stock
S-13 unguided aircraft rockets
S-13, S-13T, S-13-OF, S-13D, S-13DF
S-24B -Not in stock
RS-132-Not in stock

******* ROCKET PODS *******
B-8M pod for S-8 rockets
B-8V20-A pod for S-8 rockets
B-13L pod for S-13 rockets

Recently received *NEW*

Hydra 70 2.75 inch Rockets
Air-Launched 2.75-Inch Rockets
FIM-92A Stinger Weapons System
Stinger 101: Anti-Air

Our clients are well known Al-Qaida, Hizballah, Al-Jihad, HAMAS, Abu
Sayyaf Group and many other terrorist groups. We are well known
supplier in the market and looking forward to expand our clientage
with assistance of Internet.

Do not hesitate to contact us via ICQ # [Removed]

Impatiently awaiting for your orders,

[Source: Spam Inbox from my email]

Aren’t these guys great

Google Mozilla

Googlefox Pt 2

I mentioned it the other day.

Bug 226572 is now under lock and key.

Oh what could it be?

Could it be Google’s dropping the blue ‘e’?

Could it be Google’s helping to dump IE to the bottom of the deep blue sea?

Could it be Google to the rescue?

Could it be Google? God Bless You!

Security Software

AOL to issue SecurID to customers

SecurIDAfter pestering AOL employees with the damn things for years, now they want to charge customers for the same pain in the butt.

I hate these stupid things. Keep them on your keychain, and you know it’s going to break, and your going to have login problems. Don’t keep it on your keychain, and you know you’ll forget, and be unable to login. No matter what, you loose.

I won’t say they are ineffective, since they do work. But they are the biggest pain in the butt.

Google Mozilla


Could it be?


We need it. Nuff said really.

I’ve said before that Thunderbird is living in the shadow of Firefox more than it should. It’s a solid app, built by great developers. It recently got a bug day. But it’s getting little promotion. Considering how Spam and Trojans are so prevalent. Perhaps it’s the ideal way to promote the Mozilla brand? Lets look at this a second:

What do people hate the most right now? Spam, Viruses? Trojans? Well Thunderbird does a good job with 2 of the 3. A great spam filter, and not nearly as insecure as Outlook. Most people have a virus scan. There a few free ones as well. Perhaps this would be a good game plan:

  • Look at integrating an open-source virus scan software to scan incoming email. Perhaps ClamAV. If you have a virus scanner, such as Norton, it’s disabled (automatically). But if your definitions are outdated, or it isn’t on, this one kicks in. This provides solid scanning protection. This also makes it redundant. Even if an exploit is found, by turning on, it can block any virus taking advantage of the exploit. This fixes the third major annoyance. We now cover Spam, Viruses and Trojans.
  • is needed. We need a way to let bloggers (free advertising) promote this beast of a product. Because they are early adopters, and people trust them. THIS is the way to take back your email.
  • On first launch, if Firefox is not installed, it should let you know that Firefox is available as a free download, and provides features X,Y,Z, it’s faster, more secure, and just plain spiffy. It also integrates (via things like the mail notification icon for Firefox).

Firefox should be using Thunderbird to promote itself, and they should be building off of the success of each other.

Rob Pegoraro of the Washington Post had this to say in this week’s “Personal Tech” Newsletter:

On a happier note, last week brought the arrival of two (moderately) long-awaited updates to a popular Web browser and e-mail client, Mozilla Firefox 1.0PR and Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8. Both are available for Win 98 or newer, Mac OS X and Linux.

The Firefox update is the bigger deal, so I’ll talk about that this week and save Thunderbird for next week’s newsletter….

[Source: Washington Post – Personal Tech: Apple’s iMac G5 9/20/2004 ]

After this I found this quote interesting:

The search form at the top right of Firefox’s window now offers quick access not just to Google but to searches at the Yahoo,, and eBay sites….
[Source: Washington Post – Personal Tech: Apple’s iMac G5 9/20/2004 ]

Note the ones highlighted, and the order: Google, Yahoo,, Amazon, eBay.

Note the order on the mycroft website for the top 10:

  1. google
  3. yahoo
  4. ebay
  5. wikipedia
  6. imdb

[Source: Mycroft Project 9/20/2004]

Lets think about this. What do end-users want? I’m guessing they use the internet for research (remember the education market is very important for Mozilla). Why the heck isn’t wikipedia already included? It’s almost silly at this point. One of the biggest reasons for getting the internet in many homes is so that ‘the kids can research for homework’. Now what can Mozilla bring to the table? Well we can link you right into the safe wikipedia environment. Why search the nasty net, which is essentially pot-luck. You can search a free open-source encyclopedia of information frequently updated, and easy to understand.

If there is any relevance to the end user for having the creative commons search in place. There’s unquestionably reason to have wikipedia in place. Just by definition.

On a side note, speaking of security. I’m still looking for people to help out with securita with the goal of bringing content-filtering to Mozilla.

Google Internet

Amazon Eager to Get A9 off the ground

It appears Amazon is giving a geeky (π/2) discount to early adopters who uses their search engine.

So before you make an amazon purchase do the following:

  1. Visit a9 and perform a search
  2. Visit (if you like me… use my link so I get affiliate credit)

Robert Accettura, since you’ve been using recently, virtually everything at is automatically an additional π/2% (1.57%) off for you. Collecting this discount is zero effort on your part. It will be applied automatically at checkout (it will happen whether you use the shopping cart or our 1-Click Shopping®). You don’t need to do anything to get this discount except keep using as your regular search engine.

We don’t advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them. It is probably the only way they’ll find out. All they have to do is use as their regular search engine. They should make sure they are signed in to (it should be recognizing them by name) so that we can be certain they get credit for their visit.

While the π/2% discount is a good additional reason to use it isn’t the best reason. licenses its web search results from the industry leader Google, and then supplements those results with Amazon’s Search Inside the Book™ results. The coolest feature is that keeps track of your search history for you on the server side. To see how this works, do some A9 searches from your computer at work and then sign in to from your computer at home.

How can we afford this additional π/2% discount?

Sponsored links revenue -from the small text-based ads on and search results pages -will help offset costs we incur through the Rewards promotion. With our automatic π/2% discount, we are effectively sharing with you some of the money we collect from sponsored links, i.e. sharing the pi.

Please use and tell your friends.

Thank you

  • Instant Rewards will not be applied to the purchase of gift certificates or gift cards, such as Gift Certificates, Target GiftCards, or Borders Gift Cards.
  • Instant Rewards will not be applied to purchases from zShops or Auctions; payments and contributions made using the Honor System; Marketplace Pre-Orders; or In-Store Pickup purchases.
  • Instant Rewards may be inactivated for any account at any time depending on the number of Web searches performed.
  • Product searches performed on will not help to qualify an account for Instant Rewards.
  • You do not have to click on sponsored links to qualify an account for Instant Rewards.
  • The Instant Reward rate is π/2% (1.57%) off the total purchase price, including tax and shipping.
  • The exact amount of the Instant Reward stated on the order summary is only an estimate. After taxes are finalized, the exact amount of the Instant Reward will be finalized.
  • Instant Rewards are not for use on,,,,, or any Web site other than
  • reserves the right to change or discontinue the Instant Reward program at any time.

[ 9/19/2004]


1,000,000 thank you’s to Microsoft

For making such a crummy web browser the internet had to suffer for so long.


1,000,000 souls saved from eternal internet suffering, and brought to the Internet promised to them. Let us spread the good word and give all the option of being saved.

As if it needs to be said. If you haven’t already, download Firefox Now, and forget about using the ‘blue e’ Internet Explorer.